Social media is one of the most effective and affordable marketing tools out there. With more than 3 billion users worldwide, any retail marketing strategy can use the power of social media to connect with and engage a unique audience.
In the food-service industry, an effective social media strategy boosts brand awareness, builds brand loyalty, and drives traffic to your store and website. As a result of this increased awareness and traffic, loyalty and profits will certainly rise.
Here’s how your food-service business can succeed with social media!
Choose the Right Platform
Many marketers — especially those new to social media — want to be omnipresent right from the start. Although having a multi-channel presence on social media is important for retail marketing, consistency plays a larger role. In fact, having a neglected social presence on a platform is often worse than simply not having an account at all.
In order to avoid biting off more than you can chew, start out slowly and grow from there. Choosing one or two platforms to consistently manage will allow your brand to cultivate a loyal following.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook is the largest social network in the world. Building a Facebook page for your brand will help you grow and connect with your audience on this leading platform.
Furthermore, a Facebook group gives your customers an opportunity to engage with your brand and with each other. Your company can use a Facebook group to test new ideas, foster a sense of community, and make your customers feel special.
If Facebook isn’t your speed, give Instagram a try. Instagram — the image-based adopted child of Facebook — provides another useful way to share content.
A popular retail marketing tool, Instagram allows brands to catch users’ eyes with bold and unique graphics. Once they’re hooked, users can easily navigate to your profile to check out more content or visit your company’s website.
If you’re hoping to grow your audience and reach new consumers, Twitter can help. By using this hugely popular social media platform, your Tweets may reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.
Whenever a user interacts with a Tweet — whether it be with a like, a comment, or a retweet — Twitter shares the Tweet with the user’s followers. Additionally, the use of buzzwords and hashtags will make your Tweets visible to people interested in the topics you talk about.
As a result, a relatively small Twitter following can quickly grow. Not only will your Twitter audience be large, but it will also consist of people who enjoy your brand and your content.
Other Social Media Networks
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are just a few of the many social media platforms that are out there. LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok all provide ample opportunities to market your brand on social media. Moving into these new social arenas gives you the potential to set your brand apart from the competition.
Get Customers Interested
The most important part of using social media as a retail marketing tool is sharing content that captures the interest of your audience. If your content is boring or off-topic, you won’t attract new customers. In fact, you may even push potential customers away.
On the other hand, fun and interesting content engages your audience, promotes shareability, and keeps users coming back for more.
One crowd-pleasing piece of content for grocers and food-service businesses is the recipe video. Made popular by Tasty, recipe videos are shared by everyone from the home chef to Gordon Ramsay. Cooking how-to videos are easy to digest and are far from being overdone.
Sharing unique twists on recipes is a fun way to entertain and educate your audience. As a result, more and more people will flock to your channel in search of delightful new recipes and cooking tips to try at home.
Contests & Giveaways for Retail Marketing
Contests and giveaways on social media build brand awareness and encourage sharing. Giveaways are often simple and easy to enter. Many Instagram giveaways, for instance, only require you to like the post, follow the account, and tag a friend or two. Additional entries may sometimes be offered for sharing on other social platforms.
Contests are similar to giveaways, but they usually require more effort from both the customer and the brand. However, this extra effort translates into a bigger potential reward for the customer and more publicity for the brand.
For many contests, participants must post their entry on social media and use a contest-specific hashtag. Therefore, each contestant’s post is free advertising for the brand as well as the contest. This additional attention can drive more entries and significantly boost brand awareness.
Make Time for Customer Service, Too
Social media is a great place to share fun and interesting content with your customers. However, customer service also plays a major role in retail marketing on social media. In fact, 37% of customer messages on social media have to do with customer service.
For this reason, regularly engaging with customers that are in need of assistance is crucial.
For example, Publix, a Southeast supermarket chain, has built stellar customer service into its brand identity. On twitter, Publix has a dedicated customer service account — @PublixHelps. From addressing product concerns to consoling lovers of retired ice cream flavors, the Publix customer service team is always ready to help.
You, too, can make your social media account a bastion of customer service. One of the simplest ways to do so is by having a dedicated team member who responds to customer concerns on social media. Like Publix, your brand can also set up a social channel that is exclusively devoted to improving customer experience.
Social Media for Retail Marketing
For grocers, convenience stores, and food retailers, social media is a powerful tool to build brand loyalty and awareness while also driving traffic to your website and store. Social media also happens to be one of the most affordable retail marketing tools available.
By choosing the right platform, creating interesting content, and making time for customer service, your business can build a strong social media presence that attracts and engages your audience.
To learn more about how we can help with your commercial refrigeration needs, contact us today!